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Method: Mediterranean Assessment System for Reservoirs Phytoplankton [Mediterranean Assessment System for Reservoirs Phytoplankton]

1. General information

1.01 GIG: Mediterranean
Relevant intercalibration types: Mediterranean reservoirs (L-M GIG). Types L-M 5/7 and L-M 8
1.02 Category: Lakes
1.03 BQE: Phytoplankton
1.04 Country: Spain
1.05 Specification: Reservoirs
1.06 Method name: Mediterranean Assessment System for Reservoirs Phytoplankton
1.07 Original name: Mediterranean Assessment System for Reservoirs Phytoplankton
1.08 Status: Method is/will be used in First RBMP (2009)
1.09 Detected pressure(s):
Eutrophication Specification of pressure-impact-relationship:
Relations between the phytoplankton metrics selected and the Total Phosphorus were made with data from 33 Spanish reservoirs sampled from 1999 to 2001. Each reservoir was sampled only during one year, 1-6 times during the period Jun-Oct at 1-3 different depths in the euphotic zone.

Chlorophyll-a vrs. TP: r2=0.74 p<0.001
Biovolume vrs. TP: r2=0.78 p<0.001
% Cyanobacteria vrs. TP r2=0.56 p<0.001
I. Catalan (IGA) vrs. TP r2=0.83 p<0.001
Yes, with quantitative data (e.g. against range of sites reflecting continuous gradient of pressure).
1.10 Internet reference: n.a.
1.11 Pertinent literature of mandatory character:
ORDEN ARM/2656/2008 de 10 de septiembre por la que se aprueba la Instruccion de Planificacion Hidrologica (BOE 22-11-08).
1.12 Scientific literature:
IGA, 2003.
Desenvolupament dŽun index integral de qualitat ecologica i regionalitzacio ambiental dels sistemes lacustres de Cataluya. Agencia Catalana de LŽAigua.
1.13 Method developed by:
Members of L-M GIG. (The taxonomic composition metric I. Catalan (IGA) was designed by Dr. Jordi Catalan)
Email of developer:
Institute of developer: CEDEX
1.14 Method reported by: Carmen Coleto Fiańo
Email of person reporting the method:
Email of institute reporting the method:
Subdirección General de Gestión Integrada del Dominio Público Hidráulico - Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino
1.15 Comments: none

2. Data acquisition

Field sampling/surveying

2.01 Sampling/Survey guidelines:
Phytoplankton sampling protocol for Lakes and Reservoirs. Protocolo de muestreo de fitoplancton en lagos y embalses.
2.02 Short description:
Sampling stations: In general, one sampling station at the deepest site. Could be more in accordance with the morphometric characteristics.
Sampling frequency: twice in summer (at the beginning of July and in September)
Vertical samples: Integrated sample of the euphotic zone (2.5 x Secchi depth). Either by 1 m steps or by integrating sampler.
In operational and investigative monitoring as well as in the reference network also samples at the chlorophyll a peaks, as detected with a fluorometric probe.
In situ Filtration of chlorophyll a samples, and subsequent Preservation with acid or alkaline LugolŽiodine solution
Others parameters to be measured:
In situ: Temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, fluorimetric profile of chlorophyll a
In laboratory: TP, TN, PO43-, NH4+, NO3-, Total alkalinity
2.03 Method to select the sampling/survey site or area: Expert knowledge
2.04 Sampling/survey device: Water sampler
2.05 Specification: Hidrographic bottle, integral sampler or Hose-integrated sample
2.06 Sampled/surveyed habitat:
Specification of sampled habitat: The euphotic zone in the deepest site at aprox. 200 m from the dam.
Sampled habitat: Single habitat(s)
2.07 Sampled/surveyed zones in areas with tidal influence: not relevant
2.08 Sampling/survey month(s): Around July and around September
2.09 Number of sampling/survey occasions (in time) to classify site or area: Twice during the summer stratification period
2.10 Number of spatial replicates per sampling/survey occasion to classify site or area: n.a.
2.11 Total sampled/surveyed area or volume or total sampling duration to classify site or area:

Sample processing

2.12 Minimum size of organisms sampled and processed: n.a.
2.13 Sample treatment:
Organisms of the complete sample are identified.
2.14 Level of taxonomical identification:
Level: Species/species groups
Specification of level of determination: Species whenever possible
2.15 Record of abundance:
Determination of abundance: Individual counts
Abundance is related to: Volume
Unit of the record of abundance: mm3/m3
2.16 Quantification of biomass: Chlorophyll-a concentration, Utermöhl technique
2.17 Other biological data: none
2.18 Special cases, exceptions, additions: none
2.19 Comments: none

3. Data evaluation


3.01 List of biological metrics:
% Cyanobacteria (Chroococcales species should be excluded except Microcystis and Woronichinia)
Catalan Index (IGA)
IGA = [1+0,1Cr+Cc+2(Dc+Chc) + 3Vc +4Cia] / [1+ 2(D+Cnc) + Chnc+Dnc]
IGA - Group of algae composition index
Cr - Cryptomonads
Cc - Colonial Chrysophyte
Dc - Colonial Diatoms
Chc - Colonial Chlorococcales
Vc - Colonial Volvocales
Cia ? Cyanobacteria
D - Dinoflagellates
Cnc -Chrysophyte not colonial
Chnc - Chlorococcales not colonial
Dnc - Diatoms not colonial
3.02 Does the metric selection differ between types of water bodies:
3.03 Combination rule for multi-metrics: Average metric scores
3.04 From which biological data are the metrics calculated:
List of biological metrics: Aggregated data from multiple sampling/survey occasions in time

Reference conditions

3.05 Scope of reference conditions:
3.06 Key source(s) to derive reference conditions:
Scope of reference conditions: n.a.
3.07 Reference site characterisation:
Location of sites: n.a.
Criteria: n.a.
3.08 Reference community description: n.a.
3.09 Results expressed as EQR: Yes

Boundary setting

3.10 Setting of ecological status boundaries: Boundaries taken over from the intercalibration exercise
3.11 Boundary setting procedure:
The approach adopted by the L-M GIG was to set the G/M boundary value as a percentile of the distribution of the data collected for each index, namely 95th percentile for the biomass metrics and 90th percentile for the composition metrics. This assumption is based on the fact that nearly all the reservoirs sampled for the IC exercise were those firstly proposed for the IC site register, as a preliminary required step in the IC process. It is to be remembered that according to WFD Annex V.1.4.1, this site register is intended to form the IC network, representing the high/good and good/moderate class boundaries. The G/M boundary values of the four biological indices were calculated for each type: Siliceous Wet and Calcareous.
A validation of these results was made with data of Spanish reservoirs along the whole gradient of pressures and to identify the behaviour of some groups of algae in relation to eutrophication process. This approach allows analyzing whether the narrow range of G/M boundary values according to the IC sites corresponds with the changes in taxonomic composition as described in the conceptual model of the WFD normative definitions.
3.12 "Good status" community: To be reported at a later date.


3.13 Consideration of uncertainty: No (to be done)
3.14 Comments: none

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